Francisco Jiménez
Director General
Saint Joseph Estratego
/
View from the Top

Protecting Private Industry

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 15:43

Q: What lobbying and litigation model does the firm employ?

A: Saint Joseph Estratego follows three-pronged approach, integrating a combination of political lobbying, legal services and legislative proposals to represent client needs. Today, Saint Joseph Estratego is focusing on lobbying to maintain the position that the private industry was given through the Energy Reform. The laws created through the Energy Reform allowed private companies to inject their technical and financial capacities into the country’s oil and gas industry. But these laws were published before 2014 under a very different type of government to the one we have today. The current administration takes an alternative view on energy and has put the brakes on the development of the industry by suspending future bidding on blocks and canceling the scheduled PEMEX farmouts. We are concerned that the administration will restrict the role of the private industry by proposing changes to the law. We want to strengthen the private sector’s position within Mexico’s energy sector to make sure it has a say in the country’s energy industry future. To do this, we intend to have the government listen to our proposal and meet at a satisfactory middle point through a conciliatory process, begun by proposing reforms to the Senate. 

The lobbying we are carrying out is based on judicial foundations, not simply communications. Lobbying has three phases: the identification of the need, the proposal for change and the communication process. We have already identified the necessity, which is supporting the private players in the energy sector.

Q: Why does Saint Joseph Estratego believe legal representation is now required by the private sector?

A: Without further licensing rounds, private players will be shut out of the development of Mexico’s energy sector and will not be able to deliver the technological and financial support necessary to achieve the goals of the government’s National Development Plan. Therefore, laws must be adapted. With PEMEX, CFE, SENER and the private sector working together, an updated legislation could be delivered to meet the needs of the country without losing sight of the state’s wishes, including reducing corruption, supporting local communities and introducing the best technology into the country. We want to make it clear to the government that the private sector supports its aims.

We are partnering with state commercial hubs and international chambers of business, uniting our strengths and ensuring the ongoing participation of private investment in Mexico’s energy sector. Because the government and institutions like CFE and CNH are unwilling to engage in debate, we intend to use our legal right and put forward our own proposal via the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, which legally must be considered. 

Part of the process is setting up roundtables where we present our proposals to the Chamber of Deputies and their appointed experts. We work through a revision of the law following a methodology called Comparative Law and stake the claim of the private industry. We are doing this because we believe there must be a counterweight to the government and because we have identified risks like the cancellation of bidding rounds. 

Q: Why do companies entering Mexico require specialized legal support?

A: For those companies entering Mexico, there is much to understand about working here. While in other countries there is a clear divide between the public administrative sector and the political sector, this does not exist in Mexico. For that reason, every new government that is elected can manage the administrative bodies in the way it sees fit. We understand that companies intend to grow here and so we ensure that our clients are compliant with Mexican law. Our expertise in regional and sectorial legislation provides a solid basis for companies throughout Mexico and in any part of the value chain. Our preventative measures help clients avoid legal conflict and save time and money.

 

Saint Joseph Estratego is a Mexico City-based law firm that offers a comprehensive list of legal services and political lobbying to private players within the country’s oil and gas sector.